Goa to once again try for Special Category status

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 23 July 2012 17:44 IST

Goa is once again planning to urge the centre to grant special category status to the tourist state with separate criteria for financial assistance as well as to protect its scarce land on the lines of hilly region of the country.

According to chief minister Manohar Parrikar, it is a difficult demand to agree upon since other states could follow the suite.  

“But we will keep on trying since it is a genuine demand and we deserve a special category status”, said chief minister.

The issue was raised by Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho in the Assembly today, stating that Goa is getting a step-motherly treatment.

“We lose in terms of financial assistance from the centre due to the Gadgil-Mukerjee formula that considers the socio-economic indicators which are the best among all”, pointed out Godinho.

Supporting his contention, Parrikar informed the House that Goa contributes almost Rs 10,000 crore towards central taxes including Rs 5000 crore on export duty on mining alone.

However, we get from the Planning Commission only Rs 900 crore while the revenue collection of Goa does not go beyond Rs 4500 crore, he added.

“The Centre is looting Goa on the mining front while we are left to tackle the problems like environmental damage”, commented the CM.

While agreeing to take an all-party delegation to the centre if required, Parrikar also demanded that Goa be granted status under Article 371, which is being made applicable to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the North Eastern states.

Efforts made by Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik in the Parliament with both the finance minister – P Chidambaram as well as Pranab Mukherjee have failed in the past, recalled Parrikar.

“I will once again to the news finance minister now (the prime minister). I hope the newly elected President of India (Mukherjee) does not object to it”, quipped Parrikar.

Article 371 is different from Article 371 made applicable to Jammu & Kashmir. It provides total protection to our land, like the land being protected in the hilly region.

“Goa, though not hilly, falls under similar status”, feels the chief minister. 

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